Kili Kids is an orphanage located at Rainbow Ridge in the small community of Maili Sita, near Moshi in eastern Tanzania. It is home to 30 children and forms the human living component of Communities Assist’s demonstration site in sustainability at Rainbow Ridge. This Development Aid Project is run by our local partner – local community organisation Kilimanjaro Permaculture Community (KPC).
The Project encourages a new way of thinking that initiates opportunities for the local community to open its arms to the welfare of the Kili Kids, as well as other orphaned and abandoned children in the area.
Communities Assist is currently implementing a further educational support program for the Kili Kids, including English, music, art, permaculture, sewing and carpentry. We supplement the education provided in local schools, not replace it, and believe it is imperative that children involved in this program interact with local children through their schooling.
Through community collaboration, the Development Aid Project plays a key role in socialising the Kili Kids in community norms and standards, integrating them with the broader community, promoting the development of friendships and networks outside their home, and developing the skills and knowledge necessary to become autonomous adults.
As well as being home to Kili Kids, Rainbow Ridge is a working sustainable village that serves as a teaching hub and demonstration site for sustainability practices within the local community of Maili Sita. We believe that when the local community can better provide for itself, it will be better able to care for others, particularly local orphans.
Through the Sustainability Education Centre, which will shortly be constructed, we are looking to teach permaculture, sustainable construction, carpentry, computing, English, sewing, arts and music. Classes will be available to those living at Rainbow Ridge and also the wider Maili Sita community.
A significant part of our Development Aid Project and education program centres on permaculture, which is about integrating the natural ecological processes of plants, animals, water, weather and nutrient cycles with human needs to produce sustainable systems for food and energy production, shelter and infrastructure. Permaculture is very much suited to third world subsistence societies and lends itself perfectly to Communities Assist’s objective of sustainability for Rainbow Ridge.
Some of our key achievements in the permaculture sphere include:
- Teaching local workers how to build and use sustainable domestic support systems, including compost toilets, solar power (lights, energy, compost fans), methane gas (cooking), grey water filtration systems, and solar operated water pumps.
- Building pens for pigs (breeding/selling), cows, chickens and goats to designated designs and free-roam areas.
- Holding two-month permaculture design courses, run by permaculture expert Greg Knibbs, for local workers and the local community. Greg taught and implemented permaculture design principles for domestic practices, land use and horticulture to create sustainable and productive human environments.
- Swaling (trenches) Rainbow Ridge’s hilly site to harvest water. Previously, about 86 per cent of water ran off the landscape. The annual maize crop was successfully grown despite drought-like conditions in this wet season period.
- Researching, sourcing and planting 2200 trees on site.
- Developing vegetable gardens to capture rainwater and ensure year-round fresh and nutritious food.
- Sourcing a range of open pollinated vegetable and green manure seed to secure seed supply lines and to achieve better genetic diversity in the food supply.